Liberty, Missouri

From Academic Kids

Liberty is a city in Clay County, Missouri. At the 2000 census the city had a total population of 26,232. It is the county seat of Clay CountyTemplate:GR. Liberty is also home to William Jewell College.



Location of Liberty, Missouri

Liberty is located at 39°14'27" North, 94°25'35" West (39.240852, -94.426502)Template:GR.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 70.0 km² (27.0 mi²). 69.8 km² (27.0 mi²) of it is land and 0.2 km² (0.1 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 0.22% water.


As of the censusTemplate:GR of 2000, there are 26,232 people, 9,511 households, and 6,943 families residing in the city. The population density is 375.8/km² (973.3/mi²). There are 9,973 housing units at an average density of 142.9/km² (370.0/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 93.75% White, 2.59% African American, 0.40% Native American, 0.61% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 0.99% from other races, and 1.59% from two or more races. 2.68% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 9,511 households out of which 38.9% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.2% are married couples living together, 10.9% have a female householder with no husband present, and 27.0% are non-families. 22.4% of all households are made up of individuals and 7.9% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.62 and the average family size is 3.08.

In the city the population is spread out with 27.6% under the age of 18, 10.4% from 18 to 24, 30.2% from 25 to 44, 21.5% from 45 to 64, and 10.4% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 34 years. For every 100 females there are 91.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 89.6 males.

The median income for a household in the city is $52,745, and the median income for a family is $61,273. Males have a median income of $41,713 versus $28,516 for females. The per capita income for the city is $23,415. 5.0% of the population and 3.8% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 5.1% of those under the age of 18 and 6.1% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.

-Birthplace of former St. Louis Cardinals third baseman Ken Boyer.


Liberty was settled in 1822, and shortly later became the county seat of Clay County.

In 1830, David Rice Atchison established a law office in Liberty. He was joined three years later by colleague Alexander William Doniphan. The two argued cases defending the rights of Mormon settlers in Jackson County, served Northwest Missouri in Missouri's General Assembly, and labored for the addition of the Platte Purchase to Missouri's boundaries. In October 1838, the two were ordered by Governor Lilburn Boggs to arrest Mormon prophet Joseph Smith Jr. at the Far West settlement in Caldwell County. Immediately after the conclusion of the Mormon War, Smith and other Mormon leaders were incarcerated at the Liberty Jail for the winter as Doniphan labored for a quicker trial date.

Atchison relocated to Plattsburg in Clinton County, as Doniphan continued to make his name in Liberty. Doniphan would join a company of Clay County men and command the 1st Missouri Mounted Volunteers Regiment during the Mexican War. The wartime fervor was covered by the Liberty Tribune, founded in April 1846.

In 1849, Liberty became the home of William Jewell College.

During the Civil War, sympathies for the Confederacy were prevalent in Liberty. In the 1860 Presidential Election, no votes in Clay County went to Abraham Lincoln. Liberty saw its fair share of battles, including an attack on the Liberty Arsenal, the September 1861 attack on Lexington, and the August 1862 siege of Independence. Southern sentiment remained in the city long after the Civil War—city hall reportedly refused to fly the United States Flag until the start of World War I.

Liberty was the site of the first daytime bank robbery in the United States during peacetime, on February 13, 1866. The gang led by Jesse James was purportedly responsible for the robbery and death of one William Jewell student.

Education opportunities blossomed in the latter half of the 19th Century. Liberty High School was chartered in 1890, the county's oldest four-year institution. Liberty Ladies College opened on a hill due west of Jewell that same year. The school burned down in 1913, resulting in its merger with Jewell. Liberty also housed many privately owned boarding schools. At one operated by Professor Love, a complacent student named Carrie Nation was driven to tears when she was unable to formulate an argument for a class debate concerning animal sentience.

Also in 1913, Liberty was connected to Kansas City by way of the Interurban rail system. Transportation links between the growing metropolis and Liberty increased with the addition of State Route 10 in 1922 and its conversion to U.S. Highway 69 in 1926. The electric railway ceased operations in 1933. The addition of Interstate 35 in the 1960s along portions of US-69 brought new expansion to Liberty, creating car-filled suburban neighborhoods oriented toward Kansas City.


Liberty is among the largest suburbs of Kansas City. The city limits of Kansas City touch the western and southern borders of Liberty. Several businesses formerly in Liberty have jumped across I-35 to Kansas City because of Tax Increment Financing programs and lower sales taxes. Liberty has sinced countered by announcing plans to develop the Liberty Triangle, an 88 acre (360,000 mē) parcel bound by I-35, State Route 152, and State Route 291. Other development projects in progress include Shoal Creek Valley in Kansas City (most of which would influence Liberty), the South Liberty Parkway, and a bypass bridge meant to alleviate traffic over current I-35 intersections.

Major employers in Liberty include the Hallmark distribution warehouse. Liberty is also the base for Ferrellgas, the largest retail provider of propane in the United States.

Liberty Public Schools serves Liberty, Glenaire, along with portions of Kansas City and unincorporated Clay County. Its schools (7 elementary, 2 middle, 2 junior, 1 senior) have ranked among the best in the state and nation in recent years, ranging from five state athletic titles in the past five years to high-performance district honors from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

External links

City of Liberty Web site ( Template:Mapit-US-cityscale


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